Lakeland Resources acquisitions expand its Athabasca Basin uranium potential
by Greg Klein
Advance research and an Athabasca Basin uranium focus helped Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK come out of a mini-staking rush with five prioritized properties. Announced April 11, the new northern Saskatchewan turf adds 52,255 hectares to Lakeland’s portfolio, now totalling about 157,000 hectares in and around the Basin.
“We keep our eyes open for opportunities like that,” president/CEO Jonathan Armes tells ResourceClips.com. “There were several other areas that came open at the same time, but we were more interested in these. Neil McCallum and the Dahrouge Geological Consulting team look at the historic data in advance and select the projects they want.”
Staking opened up again late last year and in early 2014. But overwhelming demand keeps crashing Saskatchewan’s online system. Consequently opportunities have been “a little sporadic,” McCallum says. But the Dahrouge geologist and Lakeland director says his team was ready to roll when staking began.
“Based on the research we did before we acquired the projects, we’ve got priority targets,” he explains. “A lot of people get land because it’s in or near the Basin without targeting anything in particular. You can do a lot of research, if you know what you’re looking for, to find good targets before you acquire them. It’s an ongoing process.”
From a junior’s standpoint, the best ground you can get is ground that you stake, because you own it 100% with no encumbrances, underlying NSRs and so on.—Jonathan Armes, president/CEO of Lakeland Resources
Armes emphasizes that “from a junior’s standpoint, the best ground you can get is ground that you stake, because you own it 100% with no encumbrances, underlying NSRs and so on.”
But with all that Basin activity, it might be surprising that promising turf still comes available. McCallum says some of Lakeland’s new properties originated with JNR Resources, which was taken out by Denison Mines TSX:DML early last year. “Denison focused mostly on their properties in the eastern Athabasca, forgetting about other properties in the central and western areas of the Basin. The most recent work that JNR did on some of the properties was just airborne surveys to keep them in good standing. They didn’t follow up on the ground. They were focused on other things.”
Good properties came from other companies too, McCallum adds. “The Lazy Edward Bay project is comprised of old NexGen [TSXV:NXE] and JNR projects and we got a good slice of both of them. The work that NexGen did was just sort of scratching the surface. They drilled a few holes, but I think they were limited to where they could drill. They had to drill right on the island, rather than placing their drill on the ice, right on the conductor where they should have drilled. They identified some really good EM trends but I don’t think they followed them up. There’s some targets there that we can hit right away.”
The 21,990-hectare project lies right on the Basin’s southern edge, with depths to the unconformity between zero and 350 metres.
“Parts of it are very shallow. The radon techniques that were so successful at Patterson Lake South could really work here. There’s a trend that showed 770 parts per million uranium that would be a good target to start with.”
Other acquisitions include Karen Lake, 7,195 hectares just off the Basin’s northeastern edge, where several silt samples graded over 1% uranium. Black Lake, 2,889 hectares along the Basin’s northern margin, features shallow depths to the unconformity and a structural feature that includes the Black Lake fault zone.
Hidden Bay, 16,925 hectares about eight kilometres from the Basin’s eastern edge, hosts at least four graphitic corridors. Except for airborne EM surveys, it hasn’t been explored with the current understanding of basement-hosted unconformity-style deposits.
Fedun Lake, 3,258 hectares situated 70 kilometres south of the Basin, sits on the Wollaston domain that holds most of the Basin’s deposits.
“We’re now working on plans and priorities,” McCallum says. Having closed an oversubscribed $2.8-million private placement last month, Lakeland is “certainly funded to prioritize the projects we want to work ourselves. If we find JV opportunities for other projects, we wouldn’t mind that either. We have enough projects that we can work some ourselves and have those JV opportunities at the same time.”
Meanwhile partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN has ground EM work planned for their Gibbon’s Creek joint venture in preparation for an anticipated 2,500 metres of drilling. The 12,771-hectare project has so far shown surface boulders grading up to 4.28% uranium oxide (U3O8) and some of the highest radon readings ever measured in the Basin.
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